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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2013) (CC)

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Hagel 11, Chuck Hagel 11, Florida 4, Israel 4, Nullification 3, America 3, Iran 3, Kentucky 3, Nra 3, Newtown 3, Obama 3, Intermezzo 2, United States 2, Soviet Union 2, West Virginia 2, U.s. 2, Brazil 2, David Keene 2, Rick Scott 2, Patrick Kennedy 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2013)  (CC)  

    January 17, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

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they won't het them become more moderates and i think this is a deep problem and i think if some said we want him to bring this to the floor. it would send a signal to the moderates. >> 26% is how many support keeping assault weapons available to everyone. it is an amazing cross checking of the polls. >> and again i think you see that 26% overlapping with the tea party 26%. i think the republicans are dealing with public opinion that is influx. you have had a shift in favor of stricter gun laws since the newtown shootings.
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you have had a greater openness toward leaguization. >> the said show is up next.
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when al gore lost in 2000, lost the electoral college vote he is the one who started saying that he lost because of his support and bill clinton's support for gun control measures including the assault weapons ban. other democrats began to say the same thing. well, that gave the nr afar more power than deserved. i didn't believe it was true then and i don't believe. >> west virginia, kentucky, tennessee that's where he was finding his problems, right? >> where republicans win anyway. the people who vote for republicans. in those states are not going to vote for a democrat. it doesn't matter what he does. >> i'm not going to argue except on these points of electoral college votes. it used to be we got arkansas the democratic side.
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west virginia was consistently -- anyway, the guys on the far right here. fear factor. kentucky senator rand paul wants to run for president is concerned the president has a king complex. and paul is out there vowing to nullify any executive orders that impede on congressional powers which by the way has not happened. we used the word nullification, you're talking civil war here. let's watch. >> in our founding fathers were very concerned about having a separation of paurpz think didn't want -- they didn't want to let the president become a king. they said congress would legislate, not the president. we have a bill we're going to introduce early next week and in this bill, we will nullify may have this king complex sort of developing, and we're going to make sure it doesn't happen. >> nullification, senator bilbo. marco rubio last night accused
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the president of not believing in the second amendment. here is a guy clearly running for president. let's take a look. >> i actually think the president, and he just doesn't have the guts to admit it, isn't a believer in the second amendment. the second amendment is in the constitution. i didn't write the constitution. neither did you, neither did he. if he doesn't want the second amendment to be in the constitution or if he wants to reform the second amendment, have the guts to admit that. >> congresswoman mccarthy, what's this -- where is this talk coming from, this street corner lingo, guts, guys getting together, guts, the president has the guts. a little respect might be in order for the president of the united states from this guy, talking about a guy not having guts. it's street corner talk from rubio. your thoughts. we're talking about guns here. >> we're talking about guns here, yes, but we all swear to uphold the constitution. i believe in upholding the constitution. the supreme court already came out that a person has a right to own a gun, but you also know that we also have the right to pass laws to protect our
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citizens. so, i mean, this is the fear that they keep throwing out there, and they're not trying to get to someone that's a moderate. they're going straight to their hard core right people. that's why they lost the presidency, that's why they lost a few seats in the house. they have to start, excuse me, coming together to get not just on the gun issue, on an awful lot of issues. look what happened the other day with sandy. it was democrats that got that bill over the line. but, you know, it should be working together for all of the american people, and right now all the polls are showing the american people, including nra members, including gun owners, are saying we should be doing something. one of the things that we noticed, most people, nra members, gun owners, didn't know that everybody was not going through a background check. they didn't realize that 40% of gun owners are getting their guns without going through a background check. these are all law-abiding citizens when they go to buy
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their guns. why isn't everybody else? that's what we're fighting for, and the president is not trying to be a king. he's trying to save lives. >> we're getting a mixed message from the right, but here is the crazier talk. already there's pushback to the potential of new federal gun laws in the states highlighted on your screen. for example, state lawmakers in wyoming, texas, and tennessee proposed outlawing any enforcement of these laws. that's nullification, pre-civil war talk. and by the way, sheriffs in kentucky and oregon have said no to enforcing them. these are people saying i'm going to break the law by not enforcing federal government law. in mississippi the governor asked his state house speaker to pass a law declaring unconstitutional gun laws illegal. he also doesn't believe in the ban on high capacity magazines because criminals could still get their hands on them. he said this week, quote, if they want a 30-round clip, they're going to get it in brazil or the soviet union. self-protecting citizens won't have that right, criminals will.
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soviet union? how about keeping up with the class here. we got to look at this. here is david keene, who i have known for years. he's a hard conservative. here he is on "cbs this morning" talking about background checks. in this area i think people right, left, and center with any kind of rational sense know we have to do something. don't let criminals, don't let people with court-ordered mental situations where they have been ordered not to do things or been under watch to get ahold of guns. let's watch david keene on "cbs this morning." >> we want to see the proposal, but as a general proposition, the nra has been very supportive of doing background checks on purchasers through the instant system and, secondly, of adding the potentially violently mentally ill to the database.
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>> cynthia, you're shaking your head no -- >> no, the nra has opposed background checks for private sales. the nra has opposed background checks for sales at gun shows. the nra and other elements of the gun lobby are the groups that have kept the federal government from having a comprehensive database on gun owners. they have even stopped the cdc from doing research on gun violence. that's how far they've moved, and i think there's another element of this we have to discuss, chris. i would be remiss if i didn't point out that it's no coincidence that some of this crazy, over the top paranoia started with the election of a black president. >> how so? connect. >> let's remember that in 2008 obama had campaigned for his first election being afraid to mention the words gun and law in the same paragraph. he never said a single thing
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about gun control, gun safety laws. yet when he was elected, gun stores sold out of guns. gun stores sold out of ammunition because the gun lobby had persuaded them that this guy is coming for your guns. they're already paranoid, extremist -- >> let's get to that overlay. >> they don't like progressive, democratic administrations. a black president makes them crazy. >> this is what's changed congresswoman, in my focus. you have been totally focused for a generation since the tragedy in your family. this idea that we don't have a gun to protect ourselves, we don't have to go skeet shooting or shoot rabbits or deer in deer season, it's not the usual sort of healthy sounding at least reasons to have a gun. it's now i need my gun to protect me against the helicopters, the federal government, or the u.n. is coming to get me. and now you're actually hearing that sort of point of view loudly. this idea, i need my gun to fight my government.
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is that new? >> no, it's not new. >> used to be posse comitatus and the whack jobs into the far west that were into that. >> we have them here, too. i have had constituents come up to me and say why are you allowing black helicopters coming over our areas? and i say, well, we don't have them coming over our areas. probably when the president comes into town. but, i mean, this is the fear that they keep putting out there all the time. and i think -- by the way, i believe most americans aren't buying that. because, again, the polls are still showing that they feel that the nra leadership has become too radical in their thinking. >> i hope they see it that way. maybe that's the good sign. the silver lining could be they're so wacky and awful and indecent when they talk about the president's kids having bodyguards and they go that far into that ditch, maybe the american people will break three to one against them. thank you very much, congresswoman carolyn mccarthy of new york and cynthia tucker. good to have you back. coming up, no more mr. nice guy. president obama tried to be
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accommodating to republicans in his first term, as we all know. what did that get him? a debt ceiling crisis, charges of being a foreigner, and total war on health care reform. well, now the president isn't asking anymore, he's demanding. you know what? it may just work. beating the neocons at their own game. the neoconservative industrial complex put all its weight behind defeating chuck hagel. it looks like they're going to lose. could it be the neocons are a spent force? could we be that lucky? and back in the ussr. yet another republican cites the soviet threat. they're still fighting the cold war. they want the cold war i guess. that's in the "sideshow" where i hope it stays. let me finish with my own thoughts about alcoholism and addiction and how it tragically struck down one of the most prominent political families in our nation's history. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ve decided
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as i begin, i thank president clinton for his service to our nation. [ applause ] and i thank vice president gore for a contest conducted with spirit and ended with grace. [ applause ] >> you know, he seemed to be speaking english as a second language there, didn't he? not everyone was as graceful as gore, and thousands of protesters demonstrated against the new president. some egging his limousine during the inaugural parade. we'll be right back. wait...you try pepto-bismol to-go, it's the power of pepto, but it fits in your pocket.
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now tell the world daniel... of pepto-bismol to-go. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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welcome back to "hardball." president obama has sounded the
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charge for his second term with a trio really of bold moves this week. on monday he warned republicans to not even think of using the debt ceiling as bargaining leverage. let's listen to him. >> but they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the american economy. the financial well-being of the american people is not leverage to be used. the full faith and credit of the united states of america is not at bargaining chip. >> on tuesday following a meeting that took place in the west wing, president obama surmounted a huge hurdle in the nomination of chuck hagel to be defense secretary when influential new york senator chuck schumer gave it his blessing. yesterday the president forcefully and emotionally laid out his proposals to curb gun violence and challenged americans to confront the representatives and stand up to the nra. let's listen. >> ask them what's more important, doing whatever it takes to get an "a" grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns or giving parents some
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peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade. >> joining me is former rnc chair and msnbc contributor michael steele and democratic strategist bob shrum. shrummy, i have to start with you. it sounds like you got into the president's ear. i know you haven't, that i know of, but he's starting to charge this campaign for the second term the way i think you like to run campaigns. go to the essential issues, fight them, get tough against your opponents. >> i think that's true. he had some historic achievements in his first term, but every time he reached out, he was rebuffed. he's been through a campaign. he believes he's won a mandate, and he has. every piece of polling data we have shows us that the american people overwhelmingly agree with him on not playing around with the debt ceiling and the full faith and credit of the u.s., overwhelmingly agree with him on issues like taxes. 90% agree with him, for example, on universal background checks on the purchase of a weapon. it's very different from what happened with george bush when he won a very narrow victory in
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2004 and then said he had a mandate and decided he had a mandate to privatize social security, which was deeply unpopular. the great strength of the president here is he knows what he wants to do, he's very focused, and he has the country with him. some of this stuff is going to be tough to get through congress and you may have to fight it in the midterms and beyond, but he's going to make real progress, i think, because of what he believes and because he's got the country with him. >> well, these are kind of fundamental issues for a president, guns and keeping the government going and fighting for his foreign policy team. it's not like he's looked for a fight. let's face it, newtown forced everybody to deal with this. >> newtown has changed everything. >> i don't think he's looking for a fight. i think he's found one. >> i agree with you. i think since the election this has been the best period the president has had in the last four years. a lot of things have come together for him. he's in sync with the country, and the country is in sync for him. the question for the gop, are you prepared for this barack
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obama? you didn't seem to be able to handle the first one. are you prepared for this one who now has the kind of wind in his sails going into a second term that can be very, very good for him in terms of at least in the first six or so months laying down some hard lines for the gop to cross. i think they can, but they're going to have to make the argument, you know, from a principled position, get off the crazy noise we have -- >> don't they have -- >> distract -- >> on an issue we just talked about which is at the heart i think of the common conversation in this country, we're on the same page about guns right now. bob, you agree, right? we're talking about guns. he didn't change the topic. it's the topic, right? >> it had to be the topic. what happened was the tragedy has been so vivid, he's been so powerful and clear, that it shattered the old nra notion that somehow or other this was about gun confiscation. i agree with michael, it's put the gop in a very difficult position because they can't look like they're just doing the bidding of the nra. they have to look like they care
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>> they have to have a bill. >> -- about the health and safety of our kids. >> they have to have a bill. >> they have to have a bill. you can wait all day long for the senate to send you something, but you better have something to put on the table that -- >> they've got to do something on background checks and some other things. here is president obama warning about the tactics. this is where he's getting aggressive, pointing out the tactics. he's doing what schwarzkopf used to say was shaping the battlefield. let's watch him. >> this will be difficult. there will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty. not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear. >> president obama put the ultimate onus on americans to get gun laws changed. listen to how he's getting people engaged here. let's listen. >> i will put everything i have got into this and so will joe, but i tell you, the only way we
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can change is if the american people demand it. >> a good point, and i think both of you know this. as i said the other night, if only the corporations set corporate tax law, it would be pretty low. if only the gun guys set gun laws, there aren't going to be any gun laws. the people who don't own guns or own guns casually will have to do something. >> that's exactly right. that's what the president has taken away from the lessons of newtown. listening to the heartbeat of the people on this right now. you can see it in the polls. you hear it in the language, and right now the gop's message is out of sync with that heartbeat, and i think there are ways and opportunities for them to get back in sync to lay out that concern about the second amendment and why the protection is important, but put it out there in the context of those kids who were killed because that's what people see most of all. >> let's talk about the president's strength now. bob, this monday and -- this tuesday he will have taken the oath a second time. the american people have doubled down on this president, a majority of the american people
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have voted for this guy. two majority votes. he will have that in his pocket starting monday afternoon. the second thing is his party is fairly -- not fairly to say any politicians are popular. but look at this. the republican party's favorable numbers are in the tank. right now the favorable rating for the republican party is 26%. and 49% unfavorable. that's 49%, an all-time high for the gop. what happened to your party? because, michael, i'm not blaming it on you. it was riding high comparatively under you. reince priebus -- >> i inherited a party where that number was 26%, and we got it back where we had a conversation with the american people about things that mattered to them. we weren't out talking about vaginal probes and all these other things. we are talking about the economy and jobs and what people really wanted to see done. we moved away from that. you know, the rnc, the leadership, whatever it is, they have focused on something other than what the american people are talking about, and we paid a dear price this past november, and we'll continue to pay that price if we don't wise up and
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get smart about what the people in this country are concerned about. >> the other side to you, bob, as a democrat, what are the advantages the democrats have to use as a party now? they don't control the house. whatever happens on guns, for example, is going to have to come out of a republican dominated committee in the house. that's tricky. and i keep thinking in the end we can talk all we want about the man in the street and the woman in the street and public opinion. you know how it works. somebody has got to get it out of committee and on the floor of the senate and the house. >> we'll see if we can get around this rule about the majority of the majority has to be for something. basically boehner's dispensed that rule twice. but, look, when you look at those numbers for the republican party, i'm reminded of one of my favorite lines from jfk which you quoted on the show last week. if you ride the back of the tiger, you often end up inside. they rode the back of the tea party to power, and right now the tea party is dictating to them. if the tea party succeeds, for example, in pushing them into default on the full faith and credit of the country and the economy crashes, that 49% disapproval will be 69%.
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>> that's exactly what i was thinking about before the show tonight. who is in charge, the nra or the republicans? who is riding whose back? it looks like the republicans are riding the nra's back, and it's a dangerous animal. thank you. remember the long lines in florida this past election day where republicans tried to make it difficult for people to vote? wait until you hear what governor rick scott is saying about it now. not my job, i didn't do that, don't blame me. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ if loving you is wrong ♪ i don't wanna be right
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." escaping the blame. or trying to. remember those huge lines, those long lines we saw on election day in florida? well, that was the result of fewer days and locations for early voting, all part of the republican push to discourage certain groups, hint, hint, from getting to the polls. well, back then florida governor rick perry -- or actually rick
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scott in this case didn't seem troubled by it at all. >> should you have extended early voting hours? >> i'm very confident that the right thing happened. we had 4.4 million people voted. >> should you have extended early voting hours? >> we had 4.4 million people voted. we had great -- >> can you answer the question? >> well, things changes. in a meeting with members of the state legislative black caucus on tuesday, governor scott said it was not my bill, the legislature passed it. i didn't have anything to do with passing it. sure. he only signed it after it was passed by members of his own party and the administration spent a half million bucks trying to defend it, and now he's reversing course. also, i told you earlier about mississippi governor phil bryant and his warning that if people can't get high capacity gun magazines in the u.s., we will go to places like brazil and the soviet union to fill the void.
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unfortunately for republicans, bryant is just one more add to the list of party members who have forgotten the soviet union dissolved over two decades ago. >> what people recognize is there's a fear that the united states is in an unstoppable decline. they see the rise of china, the rise of india, the rise of the soviet union, and our loss militarily going forward. >> leading means engaging an issue like syria, one that is according to the centcom commander, the biggest strategic blow to iran is if assad leaves. it's strategically important to the soviet union. >> you're seeing the soviets pushing into the arctic with no response from us. in fact, the only response is to announce the early retirement of the last remaining icebreaker. >> on almost every measure this president has failed.
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now, he's also failed overseas. he entered into an agreement with the soviet -- excuse me, with russia with regards to the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. >> too many neocon speechwriters. these code words are still fighting the word. bad news for roe v. wade. according to a new pew poll, many young people don't know what it was. 44% under the age of 30 correctly cited the case dealt with abortion rights. 16% thought rowe v. wade, thought it was about school desegregation. 41% didn't know at all. a majority of americans, bottom line here, want to keep abortion legal. up next, the neocons are fighting chuck hagel, and the neocons are currently losing this fight. that's ahead, and that's coming here. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. what are you [ sniffles ] [ female announcer ] for everything your face has to face. face it with puffs facial tissues. puffs has air-fluffed pillows for 40% more cushiony thickness. face every day with puffs softness.
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welcome back to "hardball." even before president obama announced the nomination of chuck hagel to be secretary of defense, his secretary of defense, the neocons out there, the hawks, made it clear they would go to war to stop it. of course, the neocons know how to start wars, but nearly two weeks after the president picked him, hagel's nomination is
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gaining momentum and his neocon critics out there are increasingly on the defensive. chuck schumer and barbara boxer threw their support behind him. a new poll shows 42% of this country supports the hagel nomination compared to 24% that oppose. that's an amazing amount of knowledge on the public's part. i'm a little skeptical. the confirmation hearing is set to begin january 31st, and hagel will no doubt face tough criticism from the republicans on the party. but the neocons' hope of defeating hagel seems to be dimmer. peter beinart and joan walsh is editor-at-large at salon. thank you so much. peter, i have watched your views and followed them as you go through the journey you go through so often on this issues. always when i disagree with you, i really disagree with you.
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you watch the neocons, and they tend to be cowered right now or hesitant, although i still read "the weekly standard" every week, i still hear from crystal. where is that community right now on hagel? have they given up? do they feel they overplayed their hand? >> i think we have moved on to phase two. phase one was to try to stop obama from nominating him. once obama nominated him, i think they couldn't win, and i think the phase now is essentially to de-hagel hagel, to neuter him, to get him to walk back all of the statements about, for instance, the potential dangers of military action against iran. i think that's where we are now. >> we're now in a cambodian re-education camp. >> i'm not sure i'd use that analogy, but i think they're trying to basically make hagel be in line with the absolute conventional wisdom in congress, which is that you say military action is on the table, which is
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okay, but you don't say that military action could have very dangerous consequences. >> yeah. let me go to joan on this. joan, and i watched this group. we're both doves. and i think i just am very skeptical of any wars, these bite-sized wars. what we confront with iran will be hardly bite-sized. not a neat war where we do the job and live with it. in saying these are dangerous propositions, it seems to me evidence of sanity. >> it's absolutely sanity. he's also called the defense budget bloated. they'll probably get him to walk that back even though it's true. he called for an earlier exit from afghanistan than perhaps the president would have backed at the time that he said it. although things have changed since hagel said it. so it's a terrifically important piece -- decision, and peter's latest piece is great. i hope -- i'm probably too idealistic.
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i hope he's not going to walk back his positions because he's right on all these things. >> you're talking about hagel, not peter. looking at his face while you were talking, he was worried you were talking about him. >> no, no, i'm talking about hagel. peter is right about this, too, generally about this. i think they did overplay their hands. i guess if you or i had gotten us into a war based on false pretext, maybe we'd be cocky and walking around like we could tell president obama what to do. you know, they also took over mitt romney's campaign even though they left poor george bush and his reputation in tatters. so they're very cocky and full of themselves, but i think they met their match in chuck hagel. >> let's go into the weeds here, peter. you're jewish in your background, right? >> yes. >> this is tricky business, so i'm careful how i go into this as a non-jewish person. the question is about anti-semitism. when that flag is raised, certainly it scares everybody. no one wants to be known as that way.
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no one wants to be accused of that even though this country before world war ii, before the holocaust, before everything, all the horrible things that happened, all the people that were killed, there was a casual kind of anti-semitism in the country. i have seen studies on it, a new book about the lindberg period. 70% were openly, flagrantly anti-semitic. when you make that charge, you have to get into another person's heart and mind. when it's given, it does work. talk about how that was done in the past and how you feel about it being used in the case of chuck hagel, fairly or not. >> the anti-semitism started to decline dramatically after world war ii because anti-semitism was associated with our enemies. that was the fundamental shift that took place generationally. really kicking in by the 1960s and '70s. there is still anti-semitism, of course. but as a committed american jew, it seems to me very, very important that we say very
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clearly that our fellow americans who are not jewish are innocent of anti-semitism until proven guilty, and the bar has to be high just as the bar for accusations for racism should be high. you should do your homework, and you should be careful about them. and that was not the case with chuck hagel where a bunch of people basically popped off without knowing really what they were talking about and besmirching the reputation of a very good man, and i am so pleased and so proud that so many people, including many jews, stood up and said, you know what? this is disgraceful, and we're not going to stand for it. >> let's take a look at this. hagel has faced those charges. a deputy national security adviser told national public radio, chuck hagel seems to have some kind of problem with jews. let's listen to elliott abrams. >> i think he has a chance at his confirmation hearing to show that he is not what he appears to be, which is, frankly, an
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anti-semite. it's not just being anti-israel. he's got a problem with what he calls the jews, the jewish lobby. >> i don't think he ever used the jews as a term, and i think he said the jewish lobby casually. he probably should have been more precise because he was referring in this instance to those who support israel. he wasn't referring to a jewish lobby concerned about general anti-semitism. when you're talking about israel, you have to be precise in this country which is very heterogeneous. we have a lot of different points of view and a lot of sensitivities that have to be respected. i believe that. that's how we talk, joan, in america. we make careful effort to do that. >> right. and peter is right. the neocons didn't do their homework. aaron david miller, the great middle east expert who actually is the person that chuck hagel used the phrase the jewish lobby with, came out in foreign policy and defended him and called these charges scurrilous and defended his approach to israel and to war. they popped off, they didn't do
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their homework, they assumed. you know, elliott abrams is despicable just to hear him talk about chuck hagel that way. there's no evidence for it, and they're used to those charges really stinging. peter has faced it in his own way, too. they're used to those charges really putting you beyond the pale, and this time it didn't work. a lot of american jews came to his defense. there was no evidence for it, and it's actually kind of a great feeling when something like that really backfires on the people who are trying -- >> i think we as free in our debates as they are in the knesset because they argue -- you have people in the center, on the left fighting it out with netanyahu. you're allowed to fight with netanyahu, ladies and gentlemen. it's okay. your thoughts, peter. >> absolutely. there's no consensus on these views in israel. no one has a monopoly of being pro-israel, and chuck hagel reminds me of the israeli generals and people from the national security establishment like meir dagan who are warning
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about the potential for war with iran. they have seen it up close. >> and by the way, the history of anwar sadat and shimon peres and rabin, people who have fought the good wars, and eisenhower, if you will. >> and learned the lessons. >> and thank you, peter and joan. up next -- this prompter is a little slow. two kennedys, former congressman patrick kennedy and his cousin christopher kennedy lawford, join us to talk about addiction and guns. this is "hardball," the place for politics. some brokerage than ordinary sweat. it smells worse, and it can happen any time -- to anyone! like when i ran to catch the train to work and a draft blew my skirt up and everybody here saw my unmentionables. yeah, and they aren't even cute. hello, laundry day. no... stress sweat can happen to anyone, anytime -- and it smells worse than ordinary sweat. get 4x the protection against stress sweat. introducing new secret clinical strength stress response scent.
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in 1933 franklin delano roosevelt was sworn in as president for the first of his four terms, and with these words he delivered an inaugural address that's been called the most important american speech of the 20th century. >> let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> that voice rings true. anyway, fdr's first inaugural was the last to be held in march. the 20th amendment ratified in january of '33 moved all subsequent inaugurals to january so it would be colder, and we'll be right back. she keeps you
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>> i started using drugs when i was 12. i had genetic frontloading. i also had trauma. we know from the studies at n.i.h. that these two things together make you a real candidate for this disease. this book has the best information on the planet for people who have this or people who don't or people who think they might and know somebody. >> when do you know you're an addict? some people call them social drinkers, heavy drinkers. when do you reach the point where you say i can't control this without doing so? >> it's a cost benefit thing. how much harm is this behavior causing you in your life and do you want to change it? you're the only one who can make the diagnosis? it depends on how much harm, if there's enough harm and you're willing to make the changes, you can pick up this book and get the information that you need. >> your family, yourself, your brothers. you lost a brother david down in florida to an overdose. >> my cousin david. >> your uz canins michael. who knows what influence it had? your mom had the problem. some of it's your family. some of it's just you. >> but i had the honor of responseoring the mental health parity and addiction act with my father. and for me it was a great
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personal vindication that i got to sponsor a bill that said you ought to treat mental illness in the way you treat every other mental illness. even though my dad was old school and clookd looked at it as kind of a character flaw. and that's the way america looks at it these days. we still have to come to the realization these are chemistry issues, not character issues. >> my old boss looked at it that way. he had problems in his family where his uncle had the problem, his brother died, had the problem of alcohol and his child had the problem with drugs too and yet he always saw it as a discipline problem. how do you change that? >> obama care is going to implement uniform health care that includes your brain. everything -- a checkup from the neck up. your mental health is going to be checked just like your blood pressure and your lipids for high cholesterol. >> we're talking to people out there who have somebody, suppose you're a wife out there, your husband's drinking too much. >> too much. well, the issue becomes -- >> buy the book. >> well, buy the book. i interviewed 150 of the smartest people on the planet about what this disease is and what to do about it.
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there's assessment tools in here. there are tools that can show you a way to recover. this is the neuroscience that we know today, the brain science that we're getting today is irrefutable irrefutable. this is a disease that centers in the brain. people can't deny it. tip o'neill, they didn't have the science back then. >> what happens when you have family members, four or five family members, and they all grow up the same way with the same parents and only one gets hit by it? how do you explain that? >> it's a tricky illness. there's one gene in your body that determines whether you're actose intolerant. there's 20 genes that they've identified that have something to do with the way alcohol is metabolized in your body. we just don't know. you can't ignore the complex interplay between biology and environment when it comes to this illness. >> what about the ethnic factor? we always talk about the irish or the native american indians. is it lack of tolerance? what's the terms? is there a term for it? is there legacy? >> no, no, no. there's a genetic factor and there's an environmental factor. but the bottom line is we know how to deal with this. prevention, prevention, preen. nine out of ten addicts started when they were teenagers.
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if the brain is still developing and you hijack it with the use of experimentation of marijuana, drugs, you're -- >> you don't like these laws legalizing marijuana. >> no, i don't. i think we need the public health community to be -- weigh in here because we already know what the liquor industry and the tobacco industry have done to our country in targeting kids. and so we need to be mindful and not rush into this -- >> like joe camel, that kind of stuff. >> exactly. joe camel. liquor stores are in places where you know that there are people who are going to abuse liquor and are going to have easy access, are going to be -- >> now that i have the kennedys here, this is too hot. the hottest topic in this country right now is gun safety. your family's been victimized. because of your family being victims we're all victims. what is your feeling about it? >> well, it's not just the person that's killed like my uncles, it's the whole family. so my father survived, but i can tell you he had post-traumatic stress and that community -- he was in mourning the rest of his life. he suffered tremendously.
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and all of my cousins who grew up without a father were also victims. and that's what we lose sight of. it's not just the kids that are killed up in newtown or out in colorado. it's all their families who are also victims. >> and it's the generation -- >> that's well said, patrick. thank you for coming on. and good guy here, richard. i mean richard -- christopher. that's my name. anyway, the book's called "recover to live: kick any habit, manage any addiction." very useful book. we don't need to sell books you can use on this program. but i think this one is -- you all know who you are. our family knows this too. i know it too. christopher kennedy lawford, patrick kennedy, thank you. we'll be right back after this. >> thank you, chris. he night it can be frustrating. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep.
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do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and may be fatal. intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime or in the middle of the night or drank alcohol that day. do not drive or operate machinery until at least 4 hours after taking intermezzo and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. common side effects are headache, nausea, and fatigue. so if you suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, ask your doctor about intermezzo
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and return to sleep again. ♪
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